Marlborough House, a mental health facility in Swindon, has been given the green light to construct an extension that will serve as a calming space for patients. The proposed unit aims to provide a low-stimulus environment for distressed patients to recover. Despite concerns raised by nearby residents regarding potential noise disturbance, the number of patients treated at the facility will not be increased.
Marlborough House, situated on Okus Road, is dedicated to the treatment of young individuals between the ages of 11 and 18. The Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust, which manages the facility, has requested the construction of a single-storey extension. This extension will house a high-dependency unit with a separate bedroom and living area, along with a staff observation room. To ensure the safety of patients, the health trust also plans to enhance the fencing around the facility, preventing patients from leaving without authorization.
However, residents from nearby Tithe Brand Crescent have objected to the extension, expressing concerns about possible noise pollution and the potential danger posed by patients leaving the premises. One resident, Philip O’Brien, emphasized the visual impact of the extension due to its higher elevation and the existing disturbances caused by distressed patients. These disturbances include outbursts, crying, screaming, and banging on the fence.
Despite these objections, Dr. Gillian Combe, a consultant psychiatrist at Marlborough House, spoke in favor of the extension during the council meeting. Dr. Combe highlighted the facility’s 25-year history of treating young people with mental health issues and clarified that the extension will not result in an increased number of patients or more severe conditions being treated.
The Swindon Borough Council approved the extension with 11 votes in favor, no votes against, and two abstentions. This decision ensures that Marlborough House can provide an improved environment for the well-being of its patients. The extension reflects the facility’s commitment to offering effective care and support to young individuals facing mental health challenges.